Turkish Protesters Say They're Fighting for Freedom

Being democratically elected doesn't give the prime minister a free pass from public outrage


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Several protesters in Turkey provided their account of events in the country so far to the BBC, as well as their goals for what started as a demonstration against the demolition of a local park in Istanbul but has spread into nationwide protests against the government of three-term prime minister Recep Erdogan. Among the most common complaints is that there's been a complete local media blackout of the protests. A student in Istanbul explains:

The only source of real information have been social media sites and people like myself have become more determined to join forces with protesters.

It's clear that the police's intention was to hurt people who are against the government. They've been throwing gas bombs not just in open spaces, but inside buildings too.

They haven't been letting ambulances reach Taksim Square to treat injured people.

But despite all of this, the crowds are getting bigger and bigger. The government has no right to tell us how much to drink, to use Islam to manipulate us, or to harm us during peaceful protests.

This is no longer a fight for trees. The people of Turkey are fighting for their freedom.

Read the rest of her account and several others here. I explained how the Taksim protest wasn't just about uprooting trees here on Friday.

More Reason on Turkey.

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  1. We are absolutely tired of shopping malls and turning of green areas and historic monuments into temples of commercialism. There’s been a continuous attack on our lifestyle, our beliefs and freedoms and we are now reaching a turning point.

  2. You know who else called themselves freedom fighters?

    1. The Rebel Alliance?

  3. But despite all of this, the crowds are getting bigger and bigger. The government has no right to tell us how much to drink, to use Islam to manipulate us, or to harm us during peaceful protests.

    The college students are not the ones with guns. I bet you the girl who said that (Burcu Keskiner) will be forced to wear burqa or cover up, and night clubs shut down once “they” win.

    1. Heh. I was thinking the same thing.

      1. Well, the college students might not have the guns, but I get the impression that many in the military share their dislike of the Islamists.

        1. I don’t know about the current situation, but traditionally, the Turkish Army has been fiercely opposed to Islamism. Attaturk specifically entrusted the military with the ‘Defence of Secularism’ as one of its primary functions.

  4. Erdogan is fucking up royally.

    Turkey being a fascist country, the state owns the media. When I was a kid, for instance, there was only one television channel in Ankara (the capital), and the government operated it.

    Erdogan systematically coopted or neutralized potential opponents within the state, and I think had concluded he could move with relative impunity, since his control of the media and the prosecutors’ office meant that it would make it impossible for the opposition to unite against him.

    The problem though is that he is pissing on principles that we were heavily propagandized to believe from a young age. And when lots of people believe the same thing, they can self-organize even when there is no communications system coordinating their actions.

    According to my facebook feed, the shit really hit the fan on Friday – that’s when all my distant relatives started putting up pro-Attaturk and anti-Erdogan slogans.

    If Erdogan becomes identified as an opponent of Attaturk, he will fall. The millitary will move against him, with the tacit support of most opposition parties, and the army is really really good at ruthlessly supressing and dispersing political parties that endanger Attaturk’s vision. The question is if the massive purge of the officer corps that happened a few years ago have eliminated the military’s capability to overthrow the civilian government.

    1. Thanks for the perspective!

    2. Well, that was the whole point of the purge. The enlisted personnel might not fire on civilians, but they would be unlikely to overthrow the civilian government either with no officers telling them to.

    3. Very interesting. I heard that the Turkish economy is unstable. The current government has made some real pro-market reform but the central bank went wacky and instead of raising interest rates as per normal they suppressed them and forced banks to load up reserves. Now the bank’s external debt is 14% GDP and the current account deficity is funded by unstable inflows. If it pops now Erdogan’s done, although I think the military has been neutralized.

    4. Weren’t the generals purged a few years back? My question, only having a distant, erratic interest in Turkish affairs, is will the colonels rise up or have they been co-opted by the current government (a decade is a long time.)

  5. Sometimes man, you jsut have to roll with it dude.


    1. So now we have anonybot advising the AK and Erdogan?

  6. Clearly most of you don’t know a crap about Turkey, since you all are jabbering about how bad the current prime-ministry is.

    The protest in Istanbul started about the tree’s being removed in Istanbul yes it is true. Which means this protest were about “Environment” but the funny part is, that the protest ruined the whole environment in Istanbul.

    The protest gotten bigger through social-media because the protest uploaded fake pictures to put oil on a fire.

  7. Let me tell you how the previous government and their political-perspective were.

    Insulting “Mustafa Kemal Atat?rk” were the biggest crime in Turkey, which resulted in being thrown to jail. After you get interrogated by the police you would be simply be murdered. And the government hid the cause of death and instead stamped as the prison committed suicide.

    A dead person, that is being seen as a “God” were the reason that Turkey stayed corrupt. In the times of Atat?rk, he slaughtered people who opposed his way, he demanded men to wear bowl-hat, those who didn’t wear it, got executed. That’s the type of man he was.

    Women didn’t have the freedom to wear scarf in Universities or work.

    All these are the proof, if you look at the ground-law of Turkey, they are still written in the old law books.

    What Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying is to get rid of these law. Yes he also commended to forbidden alcohol, but what kind of goodness does alcohol give? Nothing.

    In 2 years ago, Erdogan opened the archives for the public, which concealed the truth about the actions of the previous government, Erdogan started to investigate on the previous military and politicians, which he found a lot of corruption that included confidential information about how these executed civilians died etc.

    1. Hurrah, an AK shill – tarran, get ’em!

      1. Well isn’t that funny, spouting that I am supporting AK, without knowing what I really support. Let me get clear here, I do not support Erdogan, I do not support AKP, I do support their principles, I do like what he have done for the country, but I wouldn’t say I would describe him as the perfect leader for Turkey. Matter of fact the hell there will be a perfect leader, because human is a human.

        I admit Erdogan has made some error with decision, but who haven’t done that? I mean lets take USA for instance Obama, Bush? Denmark Pia K. Helle Thorning Schmidt? Greece Antonis Samaras? Iraq Saddam Hussain? oh my I can still continue.

        But if Erdogan haven’t came to power, would Turkey really be where it is now? Political and economical Turkey has raised, they have attention from most of the major wealth countries, did they really have this attention before? I mean in 50 years there haven’t been any true leader to make this much of achievement for a country like Turkey.

        He promised freedom, he surely did, he promised work force, he surely did, he promised free surgery on emergency, he surely did.

        Then how can you still complain?

        I can go back in history, and talk about all political movement where there was a big pool of blood, where people got massacred, but where is the protest now?

  8. Ooh! Look! Another ‘uprising’! Look there’s social media involved and vague quasi greenie and leftist statements being made–let’s treat it like Egypt–look how well that worked out.

    1. Yes, social media and “Their-free-of-will-to-lie”. Egypt is a great example of what the protest wants Turkey to be like.

      A government without any supremacy leader, people going like wild animals and attacking each other. That’s exactly what the protest are wanting.

      You know what, matter of fact I can start my own protest, all I have to do is to write some bull crap in social media, gather 4-5 friends make them write the same crap, and there you go, a cup of lies and bulls, that will create chaotic within population.

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